We need to think about the implications of God intervening directly in such situations. Would not this be rather like a god in Greek drama who would fly onto centre stage in a machine and with a few short commands resolve the difficulties that the characters had got themselves into? Just as such artificial resolutions are dramatically unsatisfying; so we need to ask the question: if God were directly to intervene with miraculous resolutions to human crises, would this be ultimately satisfying or good for us? Dietrich Bonhoeffer argued that we need to grow up.
Later, Isaiah comes at the same problem from a different angle. "Yet, Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, you are the potter, and all of us are your handiwork." (64:8). Isaiah comes to affirm that though God cannot be dragged in at our convenience to provide quick-fix solutions, he is already present sovereignly and is quietly at work. God is present by his constant power sustaining all things. But more than this, God is present as a transforming and shaping force to those open to his help. God, as potter, can do very little with clay that is hard and unyielding; but with clay that trusts the potter and allows the water and pressure of the potter's fingers to shape it, transformation becomes possible.
In Advent we celebrate God's Word becoming one with the clay of humanity. Jesus experienced all the pressures that human living involves yet did not allow the world to misshape who he was. He yielded completely to the potter in his formation. Jesus was not saved by God's intervention on the Cross but through his suffering, death and resurrection Jesus is the pioneer of new life transformed in communion with God; a pioneer who beckons us to follow his way.